Naomi Wolf in The Guardian: we hear that Occupy Wall Street has no clear message, but is it precisely because the dis-organization has a clear message, set of goals, and growing force that we’re seeing efforts to shut the 24/7 demonstrations down?
The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.
The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.
Update: Joshua Holland at AlterNet says Naomi Wolf’s piece “takes an enormous leap away from any known facts to suggest that Congress is ordering cities to smash the Occupy Movement in order to preserve their own economic privilege.”
Photo by Lily Rothrock
Maybe I’m a conservative, after all, because I was listening to Andrew Bacevich earlier today and nodding. Bacevich is a real conservative, not a neocon, and I’m thinking he’s got the right message … I was pretty excited by all he had to say:
- The U.S. has become in empire of consumption, not production.
- We assume that business must be built on credit, and not on productivity.
- Americans (and others) are participating in a de facto Ponzi scheme, borrowing with the underlying assumption that the bills will never come due.
- No one in politics seems to offer a politically plausible solution.
- Trade imbalances are larger each year. Jimmy Carter was the one president who recognized the challenges awaiting if we refuse to get our house in order &ndash check out his “malaise” speech.
- Freedom does not equal, or depend on, materialism. Quite the contrary.
- We might have to modify what may be peripheral to preserver the core of the American way of life. Focus on the way we live and order our affairs.
- At our best, we have focused on community, harmony, and the future. That last is important: we now think too little of the extent to which we put our children and grandchildren at risk as we squander our resources, which is the same as squandering our freedom.
- We’re using military power to conceal the real implications of U.S. profligacy. Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 all assumed that power can “fix the world” to sustain our dysfunctional system.
- We have created an imperial presidency, and congress no longer articulates a visoin of the common good.
- The National Security State build around the president doesn’t work – it didn’t predict 9/11 or plan effectively for the war in Iraq.
- No one in Washington DC knows what they’re doing.
At least, that’s what I thought I heard him say… and I’m ready to work on solutions. My business partner, David Armistead, and I are already working on something that might be helpful.
Check out the Bacevich interview on Bill Moyers’ Journal.